Oct 22, 2008

Vortex and Exposure

We were sitting out on the porch with the breeze and we were keeping a close watch on whatever the sky was doing…which wasn't much. We pretended that we knew all the cats who passed by on the street and we tried to talk it up and make the world come alive for us; we gave them all names and expositions and weird habits that we knew they'd never be able to break. We sent some home, some to town and some into clinics where highly-trained professionals could take long, hard looks at them and then decide how best to repair the damage. We did that for hours and we held tight to the half-secret belief that we were Right about most of them.
That was the same day that the reservoir flooded and all the fish you could grab were floating out down on Parks Street but we never made it over there and we went out for hamburgers and wine instead.
Rudy and Roach stopped by later and told us about a pimp they knew back in the city. His name was Danny Lavender and he was obsessed with Horace Greeley; said he was on his own mission of Manifest Destiny. He told them: "Yeah baby, I gots a lot of bitches in my trap. I call 'em the Westward Hos. Dig?" But Rudy and Roach left before they ever really explained if they believed Danny Lavender when he said that. But I'm pretty sure that they dug it just the same.
We stayed out there on the porch and watched it get dark, just like it always does; when you see the light sinking and you always hope that some Miracle will keep it there and you end up thinking, just at the last second, that maybe…maybe, this time it will manage to hang on. But it didn't.
We got down underneath a blanket and pretended to do it while the night people moved on the sidewalk and sent us plenty of side-long glances, like maybe they knew what we were up to.

I remembered crazy old Manchester and all the groovy stories he used to lay on us about how his old daddy used to travel around the Southeast and hit all the Old Time Tent Revivals; fire and brimstone and the wrath of an angry God: All that jazz. His old man had a strange charge on for minister's wives and he must have banged fifty of them this one summer. And that's when he met Manchester's mother. His daddy always said that nobody needed a good lay like a minister's wife and once it was out there…well, you couldn't hardly pull 'em off it. He knocked up Manchester's mother and just drifted on and she spent two years tracking him down. Just showed up one night at Reverend Purvis' Faith-Healing Camp Meeting and dropped a little boy in his lap and walked off without a word. It was a good story and it didn't matter by then if it was true or not; that's just where Manchester came from. Well…before that train caught him out in a little town called Big Finish (no shit) and cut both of his legs off and forced him to find Jesus. Yeah. Jesus was right where we left Him.
We ate some cold hamburgers and drank some hot wine and finally manage to get it; but then the wind kicked up and the dogs started sniffing around too much. We wrapped up in the blanket and fumbled back inside, looking at the stars past the streetlights one more time. We knew they'd be right back up there tomorrow.
Then...we strapped on the Vortex Goggles and got down to some serious Time Traveling.


Coquette said...

And you really think you don't sound like John Steineck? I disagree. Have you read Cannery Row?

Loved this post.

Cat said...

There must be an awful lot of cats walking down that street. Maybe they were all on their way over to fish on Parks Street? This post made me yearn. For what, I'm not sure. But there was definite yearning.

C.S. Perry said...

My Dear Coquette,
Well…I’d be a fool if I said I didn’t see the obvious similarities. After all, especially where Cannery Row is concerned, the feel of the narrative is akin to that same sort of plot-less, character-driven, descriptive intent that attempts to relate the “Feel” of a place and the people who occupy it. But, when it comes to such comparisons, well, let’s just say that I’ve never been all that interested in living “Up the Hill.”

Ah…I just got it. Yes, the cats.
Yearning is a strange thing and even more so when it festers inside us like some ripening desire that we can never seem to put our finger on. It’s best just to let it remain a shadow in the back room of our minds and, if the time ever gets Right, it will manifest itself without all the emotional obfuscation.
But, on the other hand, I might suggest that simply you’re yearning for an ultra-cool pair of High-tension, shatter-resistant Vortex Goggles for all manner of Quantum-Velocity adventures.

Jennybean said...

Ummm in my cold medicine induced haze I don't get it...

but umm.. right on I guess...

C.S. Perry said...

That's okay. I was a bit hazy myself when I wrote it.

L. said...

Danny Lavender is the best name for a pimp.

And Big Finish is the best name for a town.

Jennifer said...

If I looked out my window for, like, a month--I might see one cat.